About This Blog
I shall post videos, graphs, news stories, and other material. We shall use some of this material in class, and you may review the rest at your convenience. You will all receive invitations to post to the blog. I encourage you to use the blog in these ways:
· To post questions or comments;
· To follow up on class discussions;
· To post relevant news items or videos.
There are only two major limitations: no coarse language, and no derogatory comments about people at the Claremont Colleges.
Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Back to the photo:
Cheney on "spokes of the wheel"
A speech that Carter probably wishes that he had never made:
Hard to picture Nixon giving this speech:
Bush 41 and the map of 1988
"So what did you think of him?" I asked Richard Nixon after his first meeting with Bill Clinton.
"You know," Mr. Nixon replied, "he came from dirt and I came from dirt. He lost a gubernatorial race and came back to win the Presidency, and I lost a gubernatorial race and came back to win the Presidency. He overcame a scandal in his first campaign for national office and I overcame a scandal in my first national campaign. We both just gutted it out. He was an outsider from the South and I was an outsider from the West."
He thought the Whitewater affair could pose serious problems. When I pointed out that the poll numbers reflected no damage to Mr. Clinton's popularity, Mr. Nixon observed that Watergate had not hurt him either, until the televised Senate hearings. "The American people don't believe anything's real until they see it on television," he said. "When Whitewater hearings are televised, it will be Clinton's turn in the bucket."
Thursday, April 25, 2019
Nixon Goes to China (again)
Frost/Nixon (see Schoen 305-307)
RN -- the book -- was ... controversial
From Leaders (1982):
At first glance, it may seem surprising that so many of the great leader during this period were so old. And yet on reflection it is not surprising. Many had a "wilderness" period. The insights and wisdom they gained during that period, and the strength they developed in fighting back from it, were key elements in the greatness they demonstrated later.
Meet the Press in 1988
1988: Work starts on the Nixon Library Two years later, it opens -- amid controversy, of course.
Nixon advises Bush 41 on the Gulf War
Nixon returns (by video) to a GOP convention:
But the campaign was not entirely successful:
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Q. You’ve said you were appalled by the Mueller report but also that impeachment is not going anywhere in this Congress. So do you think it’s time to move on and to focus on issues that are more likely to change how people see President Trump, if that’s possible?
It’s stated pretty clearly that Mueller found no evidence of conspiracy. Fine. Move on from that point. The obstruction point is detailed in the report. Indeed, at the end of volume two, they say, “We were unable to form a judgment that he is not guilty of obstruction.” And this is after 80 pages of lurid obstruction of justice evidence, which is well over the bar beyond what Richard Nixon did, well over.
Q. I want to stop there because you worked on Watergate as a lawyer. [counsel to House Judiciary Committee] When you say that what Trump did went beyond the bar of what Nixon did, what do you mean? That’s pretty significant.
A fact that’s gotten too little attention is that a good deal of the analysis that went into the decision by the House Judiciary Committee to vote for the impeachment of Richard Nixon in 1974 was the analysis under what’s called the Take Care Clause. The president takes an oath to uphold the Constitution. Among his duties specified in the Constitution is that he shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Mr. Nixon violated that when he said to Haldeman and Ehrlichman, “We’ve got to stop this Watergate investigation. Tell them it’s national security, so they should just stand down.” That’s failing to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
That’s just one thing. With Mr. Trump you have dozens of things that amount to failing to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. For example, in volume two of the Mueller report, the president is very clearly depicted as instructing senior national security officials, senior national intelligence officials and senior legal officials to lie. And they all say, “Well I can’t say that.” And he says, “Why not?” And they say, “Because that’s not true.” And the president basically says, “Your point?” And that’s just one in a litany of such examples.
Footnote #1091 of the Mueller report (p. 178):
A possible remedy through impeachment for abuses of power would not substitute for potential criminal liability after a President leaves office. Impeachment would remove a President from office, but would not address the underlying culpability of the conduct or serve the usual purposes of the criminal law. Indeed, the Impeachment Judgment Clause recognizes that criminal law plays an independent role in addressing an official's conduct, distinct from the political remedy of impeachment. See U.S. CONST. ART.The pardon power and clemency statistics
l, § 3, cl. 7. Impeachment is also a drastic and rarely invoked remedy, and Congress is not restricted to relying only on impeachment, rather than making criminal law applicable to a former President, as OLC has recognized. A Sitting President's Amenability to Indictment and Criminal Prosecution, 24 Op. O.L.C. at 255 ("Recognizing an immunity from prosecution for a sitting President would not preclude such prosecution once the President 's term is over or he is otherwise removed from office by resignation or impeachment.").
Ford pardons Nixon. The proclamation:
I, GERALD R. FORD, President of the United States, pursuant to the pardon power conferred upon me by Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, have granted and by these presents do grant a full, free, and absolute pardon unto Richard Nixon for all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9, 1974.Ford takes the extraordinary step of testifying:
The people disapprove
Fast forward to 2001:
Ford receives the JFK Profile in Courage Award for the pardon. He says:
President Kennedy understood that courage is not something to be gauged in a poll or located in a focus group. No advisor can spin it. No historian can backdate it. For, in the age-old contest between popularity and principle, only those willing to lose for their convictions are deserving of posterity's approval.
I was one of those who spoke out against his action then. But time has a way of clarifying past events, and now we see that President Ford was right. His courage and dedication to our country made it possible for us to begin the process of healing and put the tragedy of Watergate behind us. He eminently deserves this award, and we are proud of his achievement.After the pardon, phlebitis nearly killed RN, then it nearly bankrupted him.
The 1974 election and the recession of 1973-1975
BTW, here is Bob Woodward's book on Nixon's legacy. Notice something about the cover photo?
Monday, April 22, 2019
- In light of the Mueller report, there is talk of possible impeachment. Compare and contrast Watergate with the Trump controversy. What are the factual, legal, and political similarities and differences? What can Trump learn from Nixon? And what can the House Democrats of 2019 learn from the House Democrats of 1974?
- Choose any substantial post-presidential speech, article or book chapter by Nixon. What was he trying to accomplish? Did he accurately portray the record? In your answer, give careful consideration to his long effort at rehabilitation.
- Go to The American Presidency Project and search what one of Nixon's successors said about him in public. (You may find that Democrats tended to say more.) Explain this president's discussions of Nixon. In your answer, consider the president's political environment.
- Hoff says that "Watergate has proved more a palliative or placebo than a genuine cure for the weaknesses within the American political system." Do you agree or disagree? Explain.
- Essays should be typed (12-point), double-spaced, and no more than four pages long. I will not read past the fourth page.
- Submit papers as Word documents, not pdfs.
- Cite your sources. Use Turabian/Chicago endnotes.
- Watch your spelling, grammar, diction, and punctuation. Errors will count against you. Return essays to the Sakai dropbox by 11:59 PM, Tuesday, May 7. Papers will drop one gradepoint for one day’s lateness, a full letter grade after that.
Sunday, April 21, 2019
In January 2016, Page began volunteering on an informal, unpaid basis for the TrumpCox is Tricia Nixon's husband.
Campaign after Ed Cox, a state Republican Party official, introduced Page to Trump Campaign officials. Page told the Office that his goal in working on the Campaign was to help candidate Trump improve relations with Russia.
RN himself appears indirectly through a number of citations to court cases. See Volume 2, pp. 180-181:
In sum, contrary to the position taken by the President's counsel, we concluded that, in light of the Supreme Court precedent governing separation-of-powers issues, we had a valid basis for investigating the conduct at issue in this report. In our view, the application of the obstruction statutes would not impermissibly burden the President's performance of his Article II function to supervise prosecutorial conduct or to remove inferior law-enforcement officers. And the protection of the criminal justice system from corrupt acts by any person-including the President-accords with the fundamental principle of our government that "[n]o [person] in this country is so high that he is above the law." United States v. Lee, I 06 U.S. 196, 220 (1882); see Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. at 697; United States v. Nixon, supra.
Friday, April 19, 2019
James W. McCord Jr., a retired CIA employee who was convicted as a conspirator in the Watergate burglary and later linked the 1972 break-in to the White House in revelations that helped end the presidency of Richard M. Nixon, died June 15, 2017, at his home in Douglassville, Pa. He was 93.
The cause was pancreatic cancer, according to his death certificate obtained at the Berks County Register of Wills office in Reading, Pa.
Mr. McCord’s death was first reported in “Dirty Tricks,” a 2018 history of the Watergate investigation by filmmaker Shane O’Sullivan. But the news did not appear in local or national media outlets and surfaced online only in March, when the website Kennedys and King published an obituary referencing his gravesite in Pennsylvania.
Mr. McCord served in the CIA for 19 years, including as chief of the agency’s physical security division, before his supporting, at times sensational role in the events that precipitated the first resignation in history of a U.S. president.
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Nixon Checks Out
February 6, 1974 House of Representatives authorizes House Judiciary Committee to investigate whether grounds exist for the impeachment of President Nixon.
February 22, 1974: The House Judiciary Commmittee issues a report on constitutional grounds for impeachment. One of the writers of the report is Hillary Rodham.
March 1, 1974: The Watergate Road Map -- “Grand Jury Report and Recommendation Concerning Transmission of Evidence to the House of Representatives” -- goes to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia under seal. Chief Judge John Sirica then provides it to the House Judiciary Committee. It does not become public until October 11, 2018.
April 16, 1974 Special Prosecutor issues subpoena for 64 White House tapes.
April 30, 1974 President Nixon submits tape transcripts to House Judiciary Committee.
July 24, 1974 Supreme Court unanimously upholds Special Prosecutor's subpoena for tapes for Watergate trial.
July 27, 1974 House Judiciary Committee adopts article I of impeachment resolution charging President with obstruction of investigation of Watergate break‑in.
July 29, 1974 House Judiciary Committee adopts article II of impeachment resolution charging President with misuse of powers and violation of his oath of office.
July 30, 1974 House Judiciary Committee adopts article III of impeachment resolution, charging the President with failure to comply with House subpoenas.
Moreover, Defense Secretary James Schlesinger recalled years later that in the final days of the Nixon presidency he had issued an unprecedented set of orders: If the president gave any nuclear launch order, military commanders should check with either him or Secretary of State Henry Kissinger before executing them. Schlesinger feared that the president, who seemed depressed and was drinking heavily, might order Armageddon. Nixon himself had stoked official fears during a meeting with congressmen during which he reportedly said, “I can go in my office and pick up a telephone, and in 25 minutes, millions of people will be dead.” Senator Alan Cranston had phoned Schlesinger, warning about “the need for keeping a berserk president from plunging us into a holocaust.”August 5, 1974: Rep. Charles Wiggins (R-CA), Nixon's ablest defender on the House Judiciary Committee, says that the smoking gun tape has convinced him to support impeachment.
August 6, 1974: At the regular Senate Republican Conference lunch, Goldwater says: "There are only so many lies you can take, and now there has been one too many. Nixon should get his ass out of the White House -- today!"
August 7, 1974, Goldwater goes to the White House with House GOP Leader John Rhodes and Senate GOP Leader Hugh Scott. (Start around 4:00)
August 9, 1974 President Richard Nixon resigns.
September 8, 1974 President Gerald Ford pardons former President Nixon.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Prelude 1967: States complete ratification of the 25th Amendment
June 23, 1972: Nixon and Haldeman discuss how to obstruct justice. This conversation will end Nixon's presidency.
September 29, 1973: Vice President Agnew proclaims: "I will not resign if indicted! I will not resigned if indicted!"
October 10, 1973: Agnew resigns.
October 12, 1972: Nixon announces intention to nominate Gerald Ford as vice president.
Mr. Richardson recalls that the first thing Mr. Nixon said when he entered the Oval Office to resign was a reference to Leonid I. Brezhnev, the Soviet leader.
“Brezhnev would never understand it if I let Cox defy my instructions,” the President declared.
“I'm sorry that you insist on putting your personal commitments ahead of the public interest,” he quoted Mr. Nixon as saying.
December 6, 1973: Ford takes the oath as vice president.
Thursday, April 11, 2019
As president, Nixon did, in fact, do much for the Right—but not in the way that conservatives would have expected. Moving leftward domestically, economically, and internationally, he first frustrated, then alienated, and finally galvanized American conservatives to action. Much of the political organizing and grassroots activism that forged today's Right got started during the Nixon years and the Ford and Carter years that followed.Tevi Troy:
Steering too far in the direction of independence risks provoking presidential disapproval. In fact, it was the displeasure of one White House aide with the think tanks of the time that led to creation of the Heritage Foundation in the first place. In 1970, a small delegation of conservatives met with the Nixon White House staffer Lyn Nofziger to discuss how to get research support for conservative ideas in Congress. When one of the participants mentioned the American Enterprise Institute, Nofziger had a visceral reaction. Paul Weyrich, who was at the meeting, recalled that Nofziger said: “‘AEI? AEI—I'll tell you about AEI.’ And he got up, walked over to a bookcase, took a study off the shelf and literally blew the dust—I mean, you saw this cloud of dust. And he said, ‘That's what they're good for. They're good for libraries.’” The beer mogul Joseph Coors, who was also at the meeting, decided as a result to back the initiative that became the Heritage Foundation.The origins of Heritage
Polarization: Democrats Move Left, Then Republicans Move Right
1972 Democratic Platform
.It is time now to rethink and reorder the institutions of this country so that everyone—women, blacks, Spanish-speaking, Puerto Ricans, Indians, the young and the old—can participate in the decision-making process inherent in the democratic heritage to which we aspire. We must restructure the social, political and economic relationships throughout the entire society in order to ensure the equitable distribution of wealth and power.
The Democratic Party in 1972 is committed to resuming the march toward equality; to enforcing the laws supporting court decisions and enacting new legal rights as necessary, to assuring every American true opportunity, to bringing about a more equal distribution of power, income and wealth and equal and uniform enforcement in all states and territories of civil rights statutes and acts.
Dukakis (Schoen 202-203)
Voting Patterns in Congress
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
"Betsy (Kirsten Dunst) and Arlene (Michelle Williams) are two 15-year-old girls in 1976. When Betsy visits Arlene at the Watergate Motel, the two accidentally stumble into the middle of the infamous Watergate robbery. In order to keep them quiet, Nixon (Dan Hedaya) appoints them as honorary dog walkers. As they travel in and out of the White House, their seemingly innocent actions start a chain of events that may eventually lead to Nixon's resignation as president of the United States."
Vox (2017): "The best thing about Dick is its savvy take on how history repeats itself, and what we can learn from it. The film came out a quarter-century after Watergate and mere months after Bill Clinton’s impeachment. The teenagers who were probably Dick’s target audience when it came out, 25 years after Nixon’s resignation, wouldn’t remember Watergate at all. But the film’s lessons were relevant then, and they’re relevant now, too, more than 40 years after Watergate."
Friday, April 5, 2019
A recent appeals court decision limited the ability to release grand jury information contained within the Mueller report to the general public, but not to Congress. The decision places a damper on the ability of public groups to sue for the release of grand jury information contained within the report. The question then is whether parts of the Mueller report will go the way of the Watergate Road Map?
Thursday, April 4, 2019
The "New Economic Policy" and Bretton Woods
What did America reap from its brief fling with economic controls? The August 15, 1971 decision to impose them was politically necessary and immensely popular in the short run. But in the long run I believe that it was wrong. The piper must always be paid, and there was an unquestionably high price for tampering with the orthodox economic mechanisms.It also turned one mid-level aide sharply to the right:
It's a part of my attitude towards governments involved in the economy, [one that] goes back to having been involved in wage/price controls during the Nixon years. I was the assistant director of the Cost of Living Council, supervising 3,000 agents trying to enforce wage/price controls. I always remember a debate we had. This was in 1972 during the reelection campaign, the Nixon administration, when the public was convinced that food prices were going up, so the political debate was whether or not we should re-impose a freeze on food prices. But in reality, if you looked at the consumer price index, the food component, it hadn't budged in six months. There had been absolutely no increase in food prices whatsoever. But we had a meeting in the Cabinet room where we argued about whether or not we should put controls back on food prices. And at one point President Nixon spoke up and quoted... "Sometimes in order to be a statesman you have to be a politician for a while. And when the people see an imaginary river out there, the politician doesn't say, 'There's no river there'; he builds an imaginary bridge over the imaginary river. Therefore we ought to control food prices." That struck me. It captured a lot of the dangers, even though best intentions can get you in trouble with respect to too much government involvement in the community.... But especially it's dangerous when you get to the point where you're working off misperceptions and trying to build a government policy that's not based on fact and on reality and on truth, but rather on the myth that somehow there's an imaginary river there. You don't say to the public, "There's no river there"; you say, "Okay, we'll put an imaginary bridge over your imaginary river -- Richard B. CheneyThird World Politics
Why so cozy?
- Nixon was there when we helped install the Shah
- Iran kept on producing and exporting throughout 1973-1974 OPEC embargo.
- Look at a map.
DEFCON 3 (Hoff p. 268)
Tuesday, April 2, 2019
Fred Malek, a former White House aide who recorded the number of Jews working in the Bureau of Labor Statistics for President Nixon, has died.
His death at age 82 was announced Tuesday by the American Action Network, a conservative advocacy group he formed with former Republican senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota.
In 1971, Nixon complained to members of his staff about a “Jewish cabal” in government working against him. He specifically set out to demote members of the Bureau of Labor Statistics who he believed were tweaking employment statistics to make him look bad.
Malek’s role in documenting members of the bureau he thought were Jewish was first revealed in a book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in 1976. At Nixon’s request Malek, the White House personnel chief, sent a list of names he thought sounded Jewish to White House aides H.R. Haldeman and Charles Colson in September 1971. Three employees Malek named were demoted to different positions within the bureau.
The story resurfaced in 1988, and Malek resigned from his post as deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Millhouse: A White Comedy
A bit on Filmmaker Emile de Antonio
VIETNAM WAR TIMELINE
- 1954 French defeated at the battle of Dien Bien Phu. Agreed to an international Conference on the future of Vietnam.
- 1954 Geneva Conference ‑ Vietnam divided along the 17th Parallel:
- 1954 South‑East Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) established to protect the independence of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
- 1955 Last French troops leave Vietnam.
- 1956‑60 US sends arms and millions of dollars to South Vietnam, fearing a take‑over by the Communist North.
- 1961 President Kennedy orders first US military assistance to South Vietnam.
- 1963 Kennedy assassinated. Johnson becomes President.
- 1964 North Vietnamese attack on US ships in Gulf of Tonkin.
- 1964 Tonkin Gulf Resolution passed, allowing US attacks on North Vietnam.
- 1965 US Air Force starts bombing targets in North Vietnam.
- 1965 Internal DOD memo on US war aims:
- 70% --To avoid a humiliating US defeat (to our reputation as a guarantor).
20%--To keep SVN (and then adjacent) territory from Chinese hands.
10%--To permit the people of SVN to enjoy a better, freer way of life.
- 1967 Anti‑war demonstrations begin in the USA.
- 1968 Tet offensive inflicts heavy casualties on US army. LBJ drops out of reelection race.
- 1968 Nixon elected President promising "peace with honor." The Chennault Affair
- 1969 US fighting troops reach their maximum strength. Peace talks begin.
- 1969 - President Nixon orders a "random selection" lottery system for selecting men to serve in
- the war in Vietnam, changing the previous system of drafting according to age.
- 1969 - Operation MENU -- covert bombings in Cambodia (Hoff 215-218)
- 1969 -- October and November Moratorium demonstrations (Hoff 227-213)
- 1970 US troops and planes attack Communist bases in Cambodia. Kent State killings.
- 1971 -- Release of Pentagon Papers
- 1972 North Vietnam invades South Vietnam. Most US troops withdrawn.
- 1973 US and North Vietnam sign a peace agreement. Last US combat troops leave.
- 1974 Nixon resigns following the Watergate scandal.
- 1975 South Vietnam surrenders to North Vietnam and the country is reunited. Saigon, the South Vietnamese capital, renamed Ho Chi Minh City.
- 1977 President Carter pardons Vietnam‑era draft evaders.
Inductions by Year -- The last draftee enters the Army on June 30, 1973.
Silent Majority -- Conclusion starts at 29:00
Nixon's approval rating went from 55 to 64 percent.
Nixon and the "Decent Interval"